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Nora and Bong Corpuz have been members of the Crystal team for more than 20 years. In fact, they got married to sail the high seas together. They're a formidable team, especially when it comes to balancing their family and onboard lives.

Written by

Authoress Zoe Hearne

Zoe Hearne

Published on 02/14/2024

Nora and Bong in 1993
Two’s company: Nora and Bong in 1993, soon after they started working on Crystal Harmony

Longstanding members of the Crystal family, Nora works as a Florist and Bong is the Printer on Crystal Serenity. Down the years, they’ve performed many different roles as they’ve travelled the world and will be familiar faces to regular guests. When Nora and Bong are not onboard, home is the Philippines, where they live with their three children.

BC: “We met in 1988 in Brunei while working at the same restaurant. Nora was working as a florist, waitress, and cashier, and I was a waiter and part-time baker. We had been dating for a few years when Nora told me that she was going to join Crystal Harmony. Obviously, I wanted to go, too, but she came from a very conservative family and they wouldn’t allow me to join the same ship.

“So, we got married secretly while she was on vacation, and I joined her on Crystal Harmony in 1992 in Barcelona as a Housekeeping Piccolo. It was right in the middle of the Olympic Games, so it was a very exciting time.

"I felt nervous about joining the ship, especially because everyone knew about our relationship. Nora had already been onboard for a year and was quite popular, and there was a lot of curiosity about who her husband was.”

NC: “Yes, Mama Leena, the Executive Housekeeper at the time, allegedly requested that we not be assigned to the same cabin. She even had a chat with Bong, reminding him not to get me pregnant!”

BC: “Now we have three children. They were conceived during our time working on Harmony and Symphony. Just like the TV Series, The Love Boat.”

NC: “My aunt took care of the children while they were growing up, along with my sister-in-law and her family who were also our neighbors.”

BC: “Without a doubt, leaving our children behind has been the toughest part. But we're proud that they've stayed on the right path and all of them have graduated college. This year, they are all working in their different fields and passions.

"We’ve been working with Crystal for many years, so we have been lucky enough to visit many countries. But I’d love to go back to Israel because of our Christian faith.”

NC: "I love Europe, while Bong likes Stockholm and the islands around it, as well as Sydney, Australia.”

BC: “The opportunity to stay together has been a significant factor in us remaining with Crystal. We’ve been treated like family. Crystal has always tried to keep us together on the same ship and embraced our relationship, for which we're grateful. Even Mama Leena eventually agreed to let us stay in the same cabin.”

NC: “We were both transferred to Crystal Symphony when she was launched in 1995 and Mama Leena promoted Bong to Linen Keeper. As soon as he could, he applied for a vacancy in the Front Office team, and in the same year, he was promoted to Bellboy. He was then promoted to Printer in 1999, first as a relief to the permanent Printer, Johnny Bastes. When Johnny retired, Bong took over his role.”

BC: “Last year, Nora was assigned as Stewardess for two months, because the Housekeeping Department needed urgent help due to lack of staff. However, she is still as dedicated as ever to her career as a Florist on Crystal Serenity.”

NC: “When we heard the news that Crystal was returning, we were so excited. Our hearts are with Crystal and, despite the long wait, we never applied to other companies. We were hopeful that Crystal would be coming back, so we remained patient. Crystal is our home away from home.”

Nora and Bong with their three children, 2023
Family ties: Nora and Bong with their three children in 2022. Leaving the children was always tough

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